By Steve Stoller
January 19, 2011
ADDISON – The skies above North Texas will also be packed before and after Super Bowl XLV.
One-hundred thousand visitors are expected to arrive by air; 4,000 of those fans will come to Dallas-Fort Worth on private jets and airplanes.
The area’s smaller, regional airports are bracing for the crowds.
Addison Airport will be one of the busiest before, during and after the Super Bowl. The Host Committee estimates more than 400 jets and airplanes bringing in visitors for the game will arrive in Addison.
The airport is already one of the busiest general aviation airports in the country, so finding room for another 400 jets and planes required some serious planning.
“Because this is a fairly tight and small congested field to begin with, when you have additional arrivals – maybe 100 additional aircraft staying overnight – you’ve got to find a place to put them all,” said Addison Airport director Joel Jenkinson.
The Host Committee created an Aviation Action Team, comprised of 25 airport managers, along with the FAA, the TSA and two airlines, American and Southwest. Their goal: Prepare the area’s 15 regional airports for an army of fans.
The Aviation Action Team estimates 128 jets will land at Collin County Regional airport in McKinney. But Mike Livezey, the manager of Cutter Aviation, believes that number is way too high.
“I’m not expecting 128 aircraft over those seven days,” he said, adding that his estimate is between 20 to 40 planes for Super Bowl week, which will still require more room.
“We are relocating some of our customers to different locations, so we can have some big open ramp areas to be able to park those aircraft,” Livezey said.
Airport managers and their tenants say the economic benefits resulting from the Super Bowl being played in North Texas are short-term, but they’re hoping it could pay further dividends down the road.
“Optimally, we’d like people to consider relocating or expanding business here,” Jenkinson. “We’d like to show what we can do, and that we can do it well, to get this return business.”